Using Canva + Google Classroom to Facilitate Amazing Student Work

Thank you to Canva for sponsoring this post!

When we were sent home for the remainder of the 2020 school year in March, most of the virtual lessons that I threw together from my at-home office (our corner kitchen nook) flopped. One week, in a last ditch effort to create a sense of community for our students, ASB hosted a virtual spirit week on social media. I was pleasantly surprised to see that so many of my students were AWESOME at Instagram stories. Like, they put me to shame!

So I decided to take advantage of their skills and create a research project for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month where they would showcase their knowledge in an IG Story format. I gave them instructions for how to use Canva for their design so that 1) all of the projects would have the same dimensions, 2) students could create an IG story even if they didn’t actually have an Instagram account, and 3) I could share their research on my Instagram account and help to educate more people about the contributions of Asian Americans. Here are some of the amazing results:

Aren’t those incredible? They did such a great job, and this assignment had the highest submission rate of the spring. Students who seemed to have checked out during the spring completely, still did this assignment. I think the design element had a lot to do with it.

I’m going to use Canva for Education to infuse some spark back into our virtual lessons as we move into the second quarter of the year. I can add students to my Canva for Education account straight through Google Classroom, which is super convenient since I have about 200 students in my six classes. They can design on their Chromebooks–Canva is optimized for Chromebooks–or on a desktop, iOS or Andriod device.

As you scroll through all of the template options you’ll definitely be inspired to try different ways for students to show their knowledge. We are obviously big fans of the Instagram Stories templates:

I’m also excited to have my students try out the presentation templates. They can work on a presentation collaboratively in real time, so I’m going to use these to help keep track of their progress during Break Out room time.

I can assign, review and comment upon their work within my account, so it’s great to have everything in once place.

I’m also going to recommend the Class Schedule templates to my students who are having trouble keeping track of all of their assignments for seven classes in an online block schedule. This is a clumsy transition for a lot of us, and since our schedules are different literally every single day, it’s not always easy to remember what to do and when to do it.

I’m so excited to see what my creative students will design with all these cool features at their fingertips! They can even design in any language, including Spanish, French, German, Russian, as well as left to right languages like Arabic and Hebrew.

For teachers, Canva for Education is a gold mine of templates to make your life easier. I have an observation coming up, so I’m going to use one of these lesson plan templates to help me stay organized and communicate my lesson plan to my administration.

They even have virtual classroom templates–we all know what a pain those are to create for yourself!

The best part is: Canva for Education is free, forever, for K-12 educators globally! You can register for your free account at I can’t wait to see what you create!

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